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Timo Flink, 45, communication director for the Adventist Church in Finland, says “The Great Controversy” holds a special place in his heart. (Finland Union of Churches Conference / Adventist Mission)

‘Great Controversy’ Miracle in Finland

At the height of Timo’s confusion about Revelation, the book arrived at his parents’ house.

By Andrew McChesney

Six-year-old Timo Flink looked with awe at a picture of Jesus’ second coming in Arthur Maxwell’s “The Bible Story.”

Unable to read, he stared at Jesus sitting on a cloud of angels. The disciples stood far away on the ground.

“I want to be up with the angels,” Timo thought.

As a young adult, he wanted to serve God but became distracted with computers. As he studied to become a software engineer, he joined a group of young adults who discussed the Bible every Friday evening with a pastor.

Soon the group became embroiled in a debate about infant baptism. Timo’s church practiced infant baptism, but several young people in the group belonged to another Sunday church that baptized by immersion. Timo was surprised that his pastor defended infant baptism but couldn’t support the practice from the Bible.

Timo joined a group studying the book of Revelation. He sensed that the book was important, but he couldn’t understand it. He prayed to God for understanding.

At the height of his confusion about Revelation, he visited his parents during spring break. Sitting down to eat, he was surprised to see a book on the kitchen table. His father didn’t read much, and he wondered why the book was on the table.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“The postman delivered it here yesterday,” Father said. “It’s from a distant relative.”

Timo took a closer look at the book. Its title was “The Great Controversy,” and in smaller text he read the words, “Ancient prophecies are coming true.” At that moment, he remembered the picture of Jesus’ second coming from his childhood, and he grabbed the book.

Three days later, he had finished the book. It was such an appealing book. It answered all his questions about Revelation and infant baptism.

“This is it,” he thought. “This is what I have been looking for. My prayers have been answered.”

Read another story about Timo Flink: 3 Brushes With Demons and Death in Finland

Timo read the book again that summer and a third time in the fall.

Then he saw a small newspaper advertisement for a Daniel seminar at the Adventist church. He had read about Adventists in “The Great Controversy,” and he went. He was baptized the next year.

An article about his baptism subsequently appeared in the church magazine, which publishes announcements about all baptisms. Across Finland, the distant relative who had mailed the book rejoiced at the news. He was an Adventist and not in close contact with the family. Timo later saw the relative in person at a camp meeting.

Timo gave up computers to become a pastor. For a while, he pastored the church where his distant relative served as an elder. Today, he is 45 and communication director for the Adventist Church in Finland.

To this day, he doesn’t know how Arthur Maxwell’s “The Bible Story” ended up in his grandmother’s house. She somehow found the Finnish-language edition, and he looked at it when he visited her.

“The Great Controversy” also holds a special place in his heart. Every Friday evening, he reads from the book to his wife and two young adult sons for family worship.

“My wife thought we needed to teach our children the more serious side of what we are facing now,” he said. “So we decided to do ‘The Great Controversy.’”

Timo Flink says “The Great Controversy” changed his life. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)